Fruit flies and summer gnats can be a problem for me with the amount of garden produce and orchard harvest I have each year. However, I discovered a solution to these pests several years ago using household ingredients.
Mix 2 tablespoons sugar, one-half cup vinegar and then add 1 teaspoon dish soap. Pour this mixture into custard cups (one recipe per custard cup) and be careful you don't create soap suds as you move it. Leave the cup and its contents unmolested in the areas you are plagued with these pests.
Over the next 24 to 48 hours, you will be surprised at how many of them have been drawn to the mixture and then drowned in it. It doesn't work instantly, but it does work so have patience.
As the tomato season progresses, I may have up to 2 dozen tomatoes "finishing ripening" in my kitchen, but the fruit flies are not a problem thanks to this handy concoction.
By Ronsan from southwest MO
May I add to this? I too have problems with these as I'm also a gardener. I just don't have luck unless I use a cover so I rubberband some plastic wrap on the top and poke a small hole in the middle. Don't put holes near the edges as that's where they will find their way out. If the mixture is still good and the gnats are escaping, I'll poke more holes in the plastic, then add a second piece of plastic wrap with a hole in the middle. Still works. Another fun thing I do is take different types of fruit and add it in 3 plastic cups to see which one attracts more flies.
One more thing. Since these bugs are attracted to light, keep a nightlight on near the mixture so they are more willing to head over there. (05/19/2006)
I tried the vinegar/sugar/dish soap combo before I left for work. I put it in a cappuccino cup in the kitchen and in my bathroom. When I came home it was crazy how many of those little gnats were in the cups. Worked great. Thanks so much! (10/18/2007)
I buy a few of those funnel shaped paper cups. Cut a tiny hole in the point or bottom. I put any piece of fruit in a coffee mug, set the funnel cup on top. The flies go into the tiny hole and cannot get out. I keep this near my apples and bananas on the counter. No fruit flies! (10/24/2007)
Get a small saucer and pool a small amount of Merlot in it. Get the vacuum cleaner out and hook up the hose with the crevice attachment. About every 30 minutes or so go look at the saucer. There will probably be 20 or so gnats around. Turn on the vacuum and slowly mover the crevice attachment closer to them. They will just sit there hoping you don't see them and poof! they will be sucked into the vacuum. Do this until you see no more. Repeat once a week until the season is over. Remember to move slowly or they will fly away. Hope this helps. (07/16/2008)
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